Air-to-ground (ATG) inflight connectivity provider, SmartSky, is reporting several key commercial milestones since announcing nationwide coverage last year:
- SmartSky customers have completed more than 1,000 flights on the network.
- SmartSky recently announced the addition of Volato to its fleet customer ranks.
- SmartSky recently announced that Davinci Jets will be upgrading the majority of their managed fleet to SmartSky.
- The company has added six sales and installation partners, bringing the total to nearly 25.
- The SmartSky Flagship system is installed and flying on nine different aircraft models.
- The SmartSky LITE system is installed and flying on five different aircraft models, bringing no-device limit, streaming capabilities to the underserved light jet and turboprop markets for the first time.
- 17 additional STCs are either completed or in progress, bringing the total to 28 – the company will soon cover over 14,000 tails in the business aviation market.
SmartSky’s next-generation network of 319 towers provides dense, overlapping coverage nationwide and extending more than 150 miles offshore. The network is delivering the continuous connection necessary to utilize high-bandwidth applications in the cloud, video calls, livestreaming news and entertainment, and even online gaming. Because each aircraft is assigned a separate connection, no bandwidth is shared with other aircraft, providing information privacy and ensuring a consistent experience across the network. SmartSky is unique among ATG providers as it does not limit the number of simultaneously connected devices and all its data plans include streaming.
“Our network utilizes a patented and optimized combination of 5G and LTE technologies designed for the unique demands of aviation communications, such as beamforming, to deliver a consistent high-speed experience nationwide. Our most active customer flights have consistently used almost 4GB per hour on the Flagship system and almost 3GB per hour on the LITE system. We define quality of service in two principal dimensions – ubiquitous, consistent connection and user experience – which combine forward-link speed, ultra-low latency, and return-link speed. We see Flagship customers achieving peak speeds of over 25 Mbps, and LITE customers with peaks over 20 Mbps. These are actual results, not theoretical. While these statistics are helpful metrics, the most important one is the inflight experience. Feedback from pilots, passengers and support on the ground includes statements like, ‘game changing,’ ‘connected for the entire flight,’ ‘lifesaver,’ and ‘real-time, no delay’,” said Dave Helfgott, CEO of SmartSky.
Along with meeting performance and experience expectations, SmartSky has significantly expanded its availability via a rapidly growing dealer network and STC availability. SmartSky now has 25 sales and installation partners qualified to install its shipsets. Leading the effort today are partners Reliable Jet, Textron, Pentastar and Davinci Jets Services, each with multiple STC projects.